Dramatic increase in the number of homeless elderly people in the UK
There has been a drastic increase in the number of elderly people seeking help for homelessness since 2012-13, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals.
According to the ONS data, within the last five years, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have experienced a growing increase in the number of people aged over 60 applying for help with homelessness, The Herald reports.
Applications for such help include asking local authorities for temporary accommodation.
The ONS has revealed that Scotland increase in elderly persons applying for help has been much smaller than in England or Northern Ireland, with an increase of 9%, as it increased from 1,278 to 1,391.
England has seen a 39% increase in the number of main housing duty acceptances for people ages over 60, this is from 1,800 in 2012-13 to 2,500 in 2017-18.
Northern Ireland experienced an increase of 30% in the number of older households that presented as homeless. The total has risen from 1,875 to 2,445 within the same time frame.
This rise in older people seeking assistance and help has occurred in correlation with a drop in applications received from those aged 16 to 24.
A downward trend in the number of young adults applying for help with homelessness or temporary accommodation has been experienced in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
In Scotland, applications submitted by people aged 16-24 fell by 29% from 12,494 to 8,884. In Northern Ireland, the numbers also fell from 4,189 to 3,001. In England, the main housing duty acceptances among the same age group fell by 29%, from 16,820 in 2012-13 to 12,020 in the 2017-17 financial year.
Data for older adults in Wales has not yet been made available, while figures for young people only date back to 2015.
The authors of the report have said that the reasons for these trends are “not currently understood.”
The ONS has said that the figures should be treated with caution due to the differences in recording practices throughout the country.
The figures arrive a week after the British Government released data revealing that the number of households who are living in temporary accommodation in England is at its highest level in over ten years. London houses 66% of them.
A total of 84,740 households were housed in hotels, bed and breakfasts. hostels and other forms of temporary accommodation at the end of March this year. This number includes 126,020 children, according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. This is the highest number of households to be recorded as living in temporary accommodation since mid-2007.
The figure has vastly increased by more than three-quarters this decade, with the latest data indicating a 76.5% increase on the low of 48,010 at the end of 2010.